PATCO working to solve service problems

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If you've noticed issues with PATCO service, you're not alone. (WPVI)

If you've noticed issues with PATCO service, you're not alone.

Trains have been overcrowded, skipping stations, and even canceling stops during the morning and evening rush.

Now, PATCO mechanics and electricians are working around the clock to deal with a frustrating series of motor breakdowns.

"It was a run of bad luck which was exacerbated by the extreme weather conditions," said PATCO President John Hanson.

He said the trouble began when a storm blanketed the region with light, fluffy snow on January 7th, followed by up and down temperatures.

That snow got sucked into the air-cooled motors. Bob Travers, the director of equipment, said the snow turned into water, causing a short and motor shutdown.

Since then, PATCO has had multiple mechanical stoppages culminating Tuesday with long lines and delays for morning commuters.

"It made for a bad day for our riders and I am very sorry for that," Hanson said.

Most of the stoppages were due to electrical shorts inside the big electric traction motors that drive the trains.

In the last 10 days PATCO has had to replace 24 motors.

"Normally in a 10 day period we'd be luck y if we do three," Travers said. "There's another 25 motors potentially behind these we have to get to."

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